Input devices

Input devices



See the "battlestation" page about keyboards in general, and the Levinson build for my latest progression in this area.

The best Planck

I have recently removed the better-than-Halos MX Clear switches, as well as Acute blank keycaps from my old OLKB Preonic, and put them in a new Planck that happened to be available for sale. This is now my favourite Cherry MX keyboard:



I’m not missing any keys (I’ve even mapped Print Screen/System Request, Scroll Lock, and Pause/Break recently)--the keyboard can even act as a virtual mouse. But I tend to forget where everything is bound, especially on the "adjust" layer, where all configuration is done.

I have a Brother QL-800 label printer, including most of its sample 62mm red/black tape, so I thought of adding a legend to the back side. With some effort, I’ve hacked together a Go program to create the appropriate picture directly from keymap.c snippets. Unfortunately, two problems arose when I tried to print it: first, a sideways print is extremely large (I don’t want to cut the label to size manually), and second, that tape sucks—​black strokes are red-tinted on the edges, and red prints so weakly that thin strokes are almost invisible.

Planck with label

So I switched back to my 29mm black-only tape. The print happened to be somewhat larger there, though much to my surprise, also less readable. The sad conclusion is that the sharpest and most compact results are provided by printing black-only on a red/black tape, because of the otherwise undesirable red halo. You can’t have it all.

QMK layout label

The effect on pictures is a bit more complex (notice the yellow tint of the red/black tape, which is also slightly glossy):

Ponies on labels
Figure 1. Black-only tape, black on red/black tape, red on red/black tape

The print density setting might be of help, though "ESC i D 0x01–0x05" didn’t change anything, the configuration report printed after holding the cutter button doesn’t even mention it, and I don’t know how I would go about changing it otherwise, without going the trouble of connecting the printer to Windows.


See the "battlestation" page about graphical tablets.

3D mouse

See 3D printing notes about the 3Dconnexion SpaceMouse.

Computer mice

Steelseries Sensei Ten

I started getting heavy doubleclicking in my last decent Sensei Raw mouse, so I decided to replace it with the closest thing. It looks and feels about the same, there are only a few cosmetic changes. On the inside, though, they seem to have changed a lot more, and so my control program no longer works.

This mouse can be configured with on Linux.

Future: Drop Python on Linux

I can extend sensei-raw-ctl to be able to control my new mouse as well. Though given that there are noticeable differences between the available settings, it might make more sense to make an entirely new program for this.

One can consider Go, however among the better libraries out there are only:

and they all want to link with C libraries, so I might as well continue using C.

Another reasonable option, although it is a lot more work, is to add support to libratbag, and configure my mouse using the ratbagctl utility.


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